In the coming weeks, Washington State University will survey owners of irrigated farms across the central portion of the state to get their take on water management and how to use water more efficiently. Joe Cook, Associate Professor at WSU’s School of Economic Sciences said this survey, specifically for farms located in the Okanogan, Methow, Walla Walla, Yakima basins, is part of a larger project funded by a $5 million USDA grant.


“The main question with that grant is, how can three new technologies be used to improve water management."

Cook noted the hope is over time, the results of this survey might improve growers’ yields and increase the value and security of water rights. He said they understand that water rights are very sensitive, adding this confidential survey does not look at removing water from the farming community.

“We don’t have enough water for all uses, so we are interested in the use of water markets to make sure that water is going to the uses for which we as a society value the most.  And that could be environmental but it also could be the reallocation of uses within the agricultural sector to be able to be able to shore up the security for more high value crops.”

The survey will be conducted this month and early January.

Click Here to see the survey questions in advance, or learn more about the overall project.

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